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Us 67, Romney 55, America 53, China 33, Afghanistan 27, Israel 26, Pakistan 26, Syria 23, Iraq 21, Florida 20, Obama 17, United States 15, Iran 12, Libya 11, Paul Ryan 9, Assad 9, Russia 9, Washington 8, U.s. 7, Mitt Romney 5,
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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    October 23, 2012
    10:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

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with kid rock and trace adkins. vice president biden will join president obama. and then mitt romney and paul ryan. the house is coming into session. this will probably be over in two minutes tops. then stay tuned for president obama at 10:10 a.m. eastern time. thank you all for joining us for this post-debate reaction on "washington journal." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] rah: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. october 23, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable stephen c. latourette to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. sarah: the prayer today will be
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offered by our guest chaplain, the reverend biffle. the chaplain: you have promised you will always draw near to those who call upon your name. we call upon you this day to send upon this great nation your protection and guidance. fill the hearts of those who have been elected to lead, mold, and shape our country. bless their staffs and all who labor here that they will see you in the work that they do. lord, fill this chamber with your presence so that here freedom, peace, and the common good will always be solved. we ask this in your most holy name, amen. sarah: pursuant to section 3-a of house resolution 788, the journal of the last day's proceedings is approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. mr. connolly: if you would join
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me for the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. sarah: pursuant to section 3-b of house resolution 788, the house stands adjourned until noon on friday, october 26, 2012. legislative work after the election on tuesday, november 13. the lame-duck session. we will have live coverage when the house gavel's back in on c- span.
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president obama begins with a campaign calling a two-day our round-the-clock blitz -- two- day, around-the-clock blitz. the florida rally is that -- at 10;10 eastern -- at 10:10 eastern. it ran in paul ryan -- mitt romney and paul ryan will begin a trip to rally in several states. the candidates catapulting off last night's final debate. who do you think won that debate? that is one of our facebook questions. more than 50,000 people have responded. let us know what you think. facebook.com/cspan.
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we will talk with reporters who watched the debate to get his take on what it might yield for the candidates. host: @ it is two weeks until the election. as we have been doing regularly on tuesdays, we have been talking to different publications about their electoral maps. today, we have a guest to is a senior elections analyst with a real clear politics -- with realclearpolitics.com. . their electoral map as it now stands. -- here is their electoral map as it now stands. it is the only one with mitt romney clearly in the lead. what is your mission? how do you get to these numbers -- what is your formulation?
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how do you get to these numbers? guest: we have romney up by about five and a half points in the north carolina. we do not consider that a tossup. are cut off for tossup is about -- a power cut off -- our cutoff for a tossup is about 4 1/2 points. host: you have included other states as swing states. guest: wisconsin is a swing state. michigan and pennsylvania are right on the border. michigan is exactly 5 points. as are tinkering on the brink -- those are teetering on the brink. host: do you do your own polling? guest: we are simply an aggregater?
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-- aggregator. host: where does it stand and how did you get to that number? guest: it is a very close race. if you look at it with just two is the head and who is behind, obama is up by about -- with just who is ahead and who is behind, obama is up by about 20 electoral college votes. host: if nbc or rasmussen --you take the last couple and you average those? explain that a little bit. guest: we do not use one more poll from any particular pollster. we try to keep it fresh and
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recent, and keep the average is up to date -- fresh, recent, and keep the averages up to date. host: what do the shadings indicate? guest: red is for where obama clearly has the edge. we have likely obama and likely romney categories. a long shot they might begin -- be competitive down the road. anything else is a long shot. host: have the polls altered drastically? guest: did see a large ship after the first debate. romney gained about -- we did see a large shift after the
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first debate. romney gained. host: sean trende, the jobs numbers are coming out the friday before. is that something that moves the polls, economic numbers like that? guest: it does early on. my sense is that the economic perceptions are fairly well bake d in. host: finally, people go to realclearpolitics.com. what will they find? guest: there are links to commentary from the left and right. it is your one-stop shop for political analysis. host: sean trende of realclearpolitics.com
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-- realclearpolitics.com. >> that was from "washington journal" this morning. this will be the president's first remarks since last night's debate. vice president biden will join the president this evening in ohio. while we wait for the president, remarks from just a short time ago from delray beach, from former governor charlie crist. here is what he had to say. >> are you fired up? ready to go? hello, delray. hello, florida. it is an honor to stand with you today and stand with our president, barack obama. we are in the middle of football season. it takes me back when i used to play quarterback in college. my father used to always tell
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me, charlie, it takes a cool head to win a hockey game -- a hot game. last night, we saw what a commander in chief looks like. [applause] the president has a cool head for a country that is in the middle of a hot game. we face serious challenges, both at home and abroad. never has it been harder or more important to have a president who knows you only get one chance to get it right. he knows, because he has lived it. i was with him not long ago in fort myers. one of his first trip after taking office. and when he came there, he brought the plan to help our teachers, our police, our fire fighters, and keep them on the job with the recovery act.
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[applause] two years later, florida and the gulf coast, they faces the worst environmental disaster in our country's history -- the oil spill. president obama came to our rescue yet again, leading the massive cleanup effort, and demanding accountability from those responsible. the president did not see a red state. he did not see a blue state. he saw americans in a time of need, and he was there for us. [applause] you know, the choice this election is crystal clear. no political party has a monopoly on leadership. there are common-sense solutions within our reach if we simply have leaders who are willing and enthusiastic to find common ground. as you have heard me say before, the man who inspired me to enter politics, ronald reagan, once famously said that he did not
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lead the democratic party -- leave the democratic party, it left him. well, i can relate. [applause] as i mentioned, i did not leave the republican party, it left me. [applause] i'll tell you -- as a former republican, it pains me to tell you today cost republicans and their standard errors, mitt romney and -- today's republicans and their standard errors, mitt romney and paul ryan, simply are not-up to the not- standard -- and their standard-bearers, mitt romney and paul ryan, simply are not up to the task. he has bowed down to his party's extreme right fringe. that is just wrong. he is being dishonest because he knows the truth would cost him votes.
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and for his running mate, romney picked congressman paul ryan, one of the most -- don't boo, vote. [applause] don't boo, vote. you know all about that. let me tell you something. we've got two weeks. this is important. i know i'm preaching to the choir today, but sometimes you have to pump up the choir, too. are you pumped up? are you ready to go? we've got to get it done in two weeks. ladies and gentlemen, i met this man when he came to fort myers, and i have gotten to know barack obama. this is a man with a great part, a man with -- a great heart, a man with grace, a man with a cool head, a man who understands people. he is the man we need to stay
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and get four more years. barack obama. get it done. thank you. [applause] >> again, the president is expected here at the delray beach tennis center, kicking up a tour of six battleground states -- kicking off a tour of 6 ben brown states. he will stop this afternoon in this-- off a tour of 6 battleground states. he will stop this afternoon in ohio. there'll be live coverage on c- span at 3;15. -- 3:15. and mitt romney and paul ryan will be in colorado, with live. john c-span2 -- with live coverage on c-span2.
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>> i think there were clear differences in approach, especially when it comes to israel, when it comes to national security and the budget, the records and arbitrary budget cuts that president obama's is proposing -- the reckless and arbitrary budget cuts that president obama is proposing. i think they saw a very clear differences. i think they saw from governor romney an agenda that was not subject to events around the world, but shapes events around the world. i think they saw from president obama a failure to defend his own policies and an inability to lay out policies for the future. i think governor romney did a good job of laying out where he will take us. >> where do you think things go starting in the morning?
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>> where things go is very much into the battleground states, into continued discussion about our national security, our foreign policy, the economy. our economic strength, our national strength -- our national security strength -- they are all tied together. governor romney will continue to highlight his plan for a recovery, as will paul ryan. we cannot afford four more years like the last four. we cannot afford it went -- when it comes to our national security. >> is he an underdog? >> it will be a close contest. i saw what a commentary that said the president -- i saw a
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lot of commentary that said president has been acting as someone who is a challenger who is behind, not an incumbent who is ahead. we know this will be a close contest. when things looked like they were going great for president obama, i said this is a point be a close contest. clearly a great debate again tonight. -- this is going to be a close contest. clearly a great debate again tonight. i feel very good about where we are coming out of this last debate. >> you cannot have any clearer of choice and you saw tonight -- choice than you saw tonight. romney will regret some of his answers for a long time. we do not have bayonet's anymore. we need a military for the future. those -- that was an absolute
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great moment for us. >> you've got the impression he was on the offense. he interrupted on several occasions. >> he can be the leader and commander in chief. he was very strong tonight. he was as strong and steady as his leadership has been the past four years. romney was uncertain. i think the difference between the candidates has been clear. use of a very certain president. he is right on these issues -- you saw a very certain president. he is right on these issues. they want the president understand these issues and where we need to go -- the president to understand these issues and where we need to go. romney was wrong on afghanistan, iraq, libya. >> how important is this, now that you have -- >> in the battleground states,
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we continue to believe we have an advantage. every opportunity we can talk about the differences between these two candidate and where we want to talk about the country is successful for us -- the two candidates and where we want to take the country is successful for us. we saw an unsteady romney who could not defend his positions. i thought he looked really unsteady. >> the romney campaign says that president obama's seemed to be debating as if -- president obama seemed to be debated as if he was the challenger coming from behind. >> the president was a strong and steady leader on the stage. romney was wrong and reckless. more importantly, he was unsteady. when you see that, you are in
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trouble. they know they are. >> if we're going to talk about being abroad at -- being strong abroad, we have to be strong at home. talking about economics, talking about building the nation at home. we have been clear about ending afghanistan. governor romney has been all over the map. when you are commander in chief, you what steadiness. we will come out of here talking about the war in afghanistan and staying vigilant against terrorism, but rebuilding our economy is the challenge of this country. the president used a lot of opportunities to make that point. >> what was -- want ourq, "we don't troops there at all." iraq.talk about
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>> in the 47% video, a few miles from here, he talked about -- he said it is unthinkable this president did not [inaudible] this is a fact. go to the videotape. the most effective thing that president about it was pin -- that president obama he did tonight was pin romney down on his positions. when he has not been wrong, he has been reckless. who do you trust to be your commander in chief? >> what is the headline tomorrow? >> i think it is the president was strong and resolute. romney looked weak and unsteady.
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the president of the about rebuilding manufacturing, about doing nation-building -- the president talked about rebuilding manufacturing, about doing nation-building at home. you saw governor romney and then make a fairy tale about his position on -- use of governor romney make up a fairy tale about his position -- you saw governor romney make a very tell about his position -- make up a fairy tale about his position. >> [indiscernible] >> governor romney wants to spend $2 trillion more on defense, that our pentagon in general does not even want. he talked about the number of ships, comparing it to 1916.
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we thought that was one of the key moments of the debate. the president ridiculed that. this is about strategy, about the ability. -- about capability. governor romney wants to turn decisions about our military over to our congress. that exchange about military spending was a convincing section for the president. >> those remarks from presidential advisers after the debate last night. live now to the president in delray beach, florida. he is being introduced. >> i'm telling you, this guy is for real. he wanted to make a difference for folks, and he has. we have made a lot a progress under president obama. my business is better off than it was four years ago. [applause] and so are a lot of other
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businesses, thanks to the president's 18 small business tax cuts. but we have a lot more work to do. and our president knows that, too. that's why he has been traveling the country, talking about israel, specific, achievable plan to move us forward -- talking about his real, says a bit, achievable plan to move us forward in his second term -- real, specific, achievable plan to move us forward in his second term. this election is a choice between a politician who will say anything to get elected and the president that will do everything to move our country forward. [applause] when you really think about it,
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there is no choice. the only choice is the right choice -- president barack obama. [applause] election day is in 14 days, but we do not have to wait that long to get the president back. early voting starts on saturday, which means you have to worry about missing work or school -- you do not have to worry about missing work or school on election day. go to votebarackobama.com. it is our responsibility to make our voices heard in this election. it has never been easier or more important. i may have given the president a bear hug, but for the past four years, he has stood up for us and fought for us.
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and now it is our turn to fight for him. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome the president of the united states, barack obama! [applause] ♪ >> ♪ i knew much more then than i do now ♪
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"i >> hello, florida! [applause] are you fired up? are you ready to go? i am fired up right now. it is good to be in florida. give it up for the congressman here. your mayor is here. state senator here, a great
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candidate for congress, and my friend and your former governor, charlie crist. and i want everybody to give a huge round of applause to scott for that introduction. [applause] thank you.
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you guys really are fired up. [applause] now, i was mentioning scott. every time i need to pick me upo, i try to see scott. in addition to some outstanding pizza. scott and charlie crist will remind as the values we are fighting for are not democratic values or republican values, they are american values. that is what this election is all about. [applause] now, two weeks from today, americans in all 50 states will step into the voting booth, but here in florida, you get to start voting on saturday.
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[applause] and as scott just told you, if you need to know where to vote, you go to vote.barackobama.com. i need you to load. you have a very big choice to make. it is not just a chance -- a choice between two candidates and two parties, it is a choice between two very different visions for this country we love. last night, we had our third debate. [applause] i hope that, during the debate, i made those differences very clear. [applause] because the greatest responsibility and have as president is to keep the american people say -- the
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greatest responsibility i have as president is to keep the american people safe. that is why we decimated al qaeda's core leadership and brought osama bin laden to justice -- the justice he deserved. that is why we are ending the war in afghanistan. after a decade of war, it is time to do some nation building here at home. in a world of new threats and profound challenges, america needs leadership that is strong and steady. governor romney's foreign policy has been wrong and reckless. last night, he was all over the map. did you notice that? during the debate, he said he did not want more troops in the iraq, but he was caught on
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videotape saying it was unthinkable not to leave 20,000 troops in iraq. troops that would still be there today. last night, he claimed to support my plan to end the war in afghanistan. i'm glad he supports it. but he proposed the time -- he opposed the time line that would bring our troops home early in this campaign. he said i would -- he would do the opposite of what ever i did in israel. last night, i reminded him that cooperation with israel has never been stronger. [applause] last night, he said he always supported taking out osama bin laden. but in 2007, he said it was not worth moving heaven and earth to catch one man. now, we have come up with a name for this condition. [applause] it's called romneysia.
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[applause] we had a severe outbreak classified -- outbreak last night. it was at least stage 3 romneysia. and i just want to go over with you some of the symptoms, delray, because i want to make sure nobody in the surrounding area catches it. loveu say that you american cars during a debate, but you wrote an article titled "led detroit go bankrupt, -- "let detroit go bankrupt," you
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might have romneysia. if you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate, but said just a few weeks ago that we should not hire any more because they would not grow the economy, what do you have? i bet you've got some romneysia. if you say you love medicare -- and by the way, there is a theme here. keeps on loving stuff, then wants to end it or cut it or not help it. if you say that you love medicare, but your plan turns it into about to that and the guaranteed benefit of medicare, -- into a voucher that ends the guaranteed benefit of medicare, you've got romneysia.
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we are breaking down the sentence. if you have come down with the case of romneysia, if you cannot seem to remember the policies on your web site or the promises you have been making over the six years that you have been running for president, if you cannot even remember what you said last week -- [applause] don't worry. obamacare covers pre-existing conditions. we can fix you. we can cure this disease. [cheers and applause] there is a cure. i mean, let me just say this, in all seriousness, we are accustomed to seeing politicians
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changed their position from , like four years ago. we're not accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four days ago. and we joke about romneysia, but, you know what, this is important. this is about trust. there is no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust. [applause] the person who leads this country, you've got to have some confidence that he or she means what he or she says, that if they tell you that they are going to do something or this is what they believe, that they are actually going to try and do it. it does not mean that every candidate is going to get everything done all at once, perfectly. but you want somebody to be able
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to look you in the eye and say, here is what i believe, here is what i stand for, here is what i will believe -- i will fight for, here is what i care about, here is who i'm going to be looking out for in the debates in washington. part of the reason i think that is hard for governor romney to do is his jobs plan doesn't really create jobs. his deficit plan does not reduce the deficit. it adds to it. is foreign policy is from the 1980's. his social policy is from the 1950's. his economic policy is from the 1920's. everything he is doing right now is to hide his real positions and try to win this election. he wants to spend all his time and focus on telling people what he thinks is wrong with america. i mean, if you notice, in his
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debates and speeches, he is really excellent at listing all the things that are wrong. he can just go over it verbatim, just boom, boom, boom, boom, powerpoint presentation. but, you know what? that's not leadership you can trust. and, florida, you know me. [applause] whatan trust that i say i mean, and i mean what i say. and, yes, we've been through tough times, but you've never seen me quit. and there is no quit in americans. over the last week of two years, we have been making real progress, -- over the last four years, we have been making real progress. our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs over the past four years. unemployment has fallen to the
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lowest rate since i took office. home values are rising. the stock market has nearly doubled. assembly lines are getting back to work. our heroes are coming ron kirk. -- are coming home. [cheers and applause] i promised to cut taxes for middle-class families and i did, by $3,600. i promised to cut taxes for small business owners like scott, and we have, 18 times. i promised we would fix the financial situation that was broken when i came in the office. we got at every single dime, with interest, that we used -- we got back every single dime, with interest, that we used to bail out the banks. we're still don't ask, don't tell so that nobody is ever kicked out of the military because of who they love.
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but when the heart beat of american manufacturing was flat line, we said, thanks, governor, i know you've got all that private-sector experience, but your advice is not going to work. today, american manufacturing is going full throttle again. i said nobody in america should go bankrupt when they get sick. we delivered on that promise. i said i would make college more affordable for our young people, and we delivered on that promise. i do what i say. you have seen me. [cheers and applause] we need toet where be. but we have made real progress. and now, we need to build on that progress. florida, that is why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states of america. [cheers and applause]
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running.y i'm >> four more years! >> i have laid out a plan for middle-class jobs and security. unlike mitt romney, i've actually proud to talk about what's included -- i'm actually proud to talk about what's in it. the math in my plan adds up. [applause] we've got any math teachers out there, you can look in this plan and you will see that the
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numbers work. i will not be running the okie- doke on you. check it out at barackobama.com/plans. share it with your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, folks who are still not convinced, they can look right here and find out what it is i intend to do in a second term. there are still people out there who are trying to make up their minds. some people here might have thought it was a concert going on or something and wandered in by mistake. thought scott was giving away free pizza. for those of you who are still making up your minds, or your
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friends or your family, i ask folks, compare my plan to governor romney. see what plan is better for you and for america's future. now, let me just summarize it real quick. first, my plan builds on our manufacturing by ending tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. i want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are creating jobs right here in the united states of america. [applause] second, my plan will cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy here in america. [applause] and, by the way, today, we are less dependent on foreign oil than any time in 20 years. one reason is because we increased fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks so that they will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. we need to build on that progress, not just by producing more oil and gas, but by investing in clean energy
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technology that is creating jobs here in florida and all across america. number three, -- i love you back, but i have this plan i want to share with you. number three, my plan will make it a national mission to educate our kids and train our workers so that they can compete better than anybody in the world. i want to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers of the next decade. i want to train 2 million workers at our community colleges with the skills that businesses are looking for right now. i want to work with colleges and universities to keep down the growth in tuition costs, because i want every young person to be able to get the higher education that they are willing to work for.
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my plan will cut the deficit by $4 trillion. we will do it in a balanced way. by cutting spending we do not need, but by also asking the wealthiest americans to pay a little bit more. so that we can invest in research, technology, those things that keep new jobs and business is coming to america. and i will not coming in our pursuit of reducing the deficit, turn medicare into -- i will not, in our pursuit of reducing the deficit, turn medicare into a voucher system. that is not what medicare is about. and, finally, my plan will use the savings from ending the war in iraq and afghanistan to put our people back to work, doing some nation building here at home. repairing roads, fixing bridges, building schools all across
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america. and when our veterans come home, we will serve them as well as they have served us and make sure that they are out there getting the jobs that are going to help build america. by the way, i just want to point out coming in the same with the governor romney did not mention the afghan war -- point out, in the same way that governor romney did not mention the afghan war or are troops, he did not mention the veterans last night -- or our troops, he did not mention the veterans last night. he did not say a word about it. the men and women and their families who have served this country so bravely, they deserve better than somebody who is applying to the commander in chief -- they deserve better in somebody who is applying to be commander in chief. it is my greatest honor. i will fight for our veterans and our troops every single day.
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[applause] that is the plan we need, florida. that is how you build a strong, sustainable economy. that is how you make sure that you've got increase take-home pay. that's how you make sure that businesses are taking root all across of florida and all across america. and now it is up to you to choose the path that we take from here. starting on saturday, florida, you can choose the top-down policies that got us into this mess, or you can choose the policies we are using to get us out of this mess. [applause] you can choose the foreign policy that is reckless and wrong, or you can choose one that is steady and strong. you can choose to turn back the clock 60 years for immigrants and gays and women, or, in this
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election, you can decide which will remain an inclusive, generous country -- you can decide we will remain an inclusive, generous country, a place where you can make it if you try. you've got a place in the american family. that is what is at stake right now. [applause] we can go back, or we can choose to move forward, to focus on the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. to work together as one nation, as one people to make another american century. that's the kind of president i have been, florida. that's the kind of president i intend to be. i'm asking for your votes. i'm asking for your up -- your help. if you stand with me and work with me and not on some doors with me and make some phone calls with me -- andknock on some -- and knock on some doors
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with me and make some phone calls again, we will win this election and remind the world wide -- why america is the greatest nation in the world. on less you -- god bless you and god bless america. [cheers and applause] host[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] ♪
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♪ we take care of our own ♪ ♪ ♪ we take care of our own we take care of our own wherever this flag's flown we take care of our own
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♪ where the eyew, th -- the eyes, the eyes with the will to see where the hearts, that run over with mercy where is the love that has not forsaken me where is the work that's that's my hands, -- that sets my hands, my soul free where's the spirit that'll reign, reign over me where is the promise from sea to shining sea wherever this flag is flown we take care of our own
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-- this this laglaf is flag is flown we take care of our own we take care of our own wherever this flag is flown we take care of our own ♪
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>> live coverage of president obama at the delray beach tennis center in florida. the campaign starting what they are calling at two -- a two- day, around-the-clock blitz. president obama will be in dayton, ohio, this afternoon. we want to get your reaction to the debate last night and the rally here in florida. the phone numbers are on the screen. 202-585-385 for republicans. 86 for democrats. our first caller is from the bronx, new york. he is a democrat. cold thank you for taking my call. just to comment on what i -- caller b: thank you for taking
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my call. just to comment on what i heard. romney said that russia was our number one political flow. -- foe. also, i do not like the fact that they put the opinion bars at the bottom. i think it sways people the wrong way. i think it is a very small opinion poll. that is my com. from indiana. a republican. caller: they did not touch all the bases they should have. neither one of them -- obama is worried about educating immigrants, ok? what about -- i never heard out of either one of them -- there are worried about -- they're
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worried about intelligent people, but what about the native americans? they want to educate people. there is plenty of intelligent americans. nobody ever talks about them. >> is that part of your heritage? caller: yes, it is. immaterial to the situation, even if i am not, what about them? don't they exist? >> next is tyson from indiana. is that correct? caller: new jersey. >> sorry about that. go ahead. caller: i thought during the debate last night both candidates went back and forth at it, but, in reality, mitt romney has no policy. whatever his policy is, i don't understand how he is standing for nothing. >> that's your thought? caller: that's my thought.
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>> we appreciate your call. next is travis from georgia. caller: i have heard a number of your callers earlier this morning. i was trying to get through. i watched the debates and things like that. it is astonishing to me that mitt romney can -- and the media -- can say he wants to go back to the middle. what he is doing is changing his position in order to appease people in the middle so he can hopefully get their vote. i think it is totally unfair for the media to let anybody get away with that, let alone any republican or democrat or anybody else. it is just amazing that he sounded very well -- i'm a democrat, but i would vote for anybody that would make
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sense to my family. as it stands right now, i have voted republican before, but as it stands now, vote democrat, because that is what most speaks to my family's issues as far as how i feel that the policies that are in place now and going forward would affect my family, and my son especially. my son is a special needs child. i have not heard governor romney mention one thing about special needs children. all i have heard is about them cutting funding. what am i supposed to do? i do not get paid nowhere near enough to get my son the help he needs. should i just write my son off? that is my comment. that's what i would say about that. >> i appreciate your thoughts. one item that came up last night was the frustration from the hill -- was the sequestration. mr. romney accused the president
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of allowing the military to be cut historically lead levels -- low levels. the sequestration is an item that congress will have to deal with when they come back into session after the election. next, a caller from ohio -- iowa. caller: i think obama should get him a different speech writer, somebody with an iq higher than 10. all he can do is get up in front of them people and talk about romneysia. that is not presidential. did his daughters come up with that? he talks nonsense. he don't have a game. he don't have a plan.
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just go get reelected. go play golf. go to "the view" or whateever. ha-- whatever. that is all he seems to do. he has not answered anything about libya yet to satisfy the people. so, thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost. he brags about what he has done an about stuff -- and he don't talk about stuff he should do. i just think he is not presidential at all. to be honest with you, i have been a lifelong democrat, and i voted for obama, but he will never get my vote. >> on to david in virginia.
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an independent. caller: a fascinating debate last night. romney flip-flops on everything. .
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[captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] caller: he is not being the right kind of leader. you should stop china. a good president? no. he's not going to be a good
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president. he's going to make everything up, just like bush did. for eight years bush was a bad president. so we should let somebody else be the president. president obama is a good leader and he's a good president for this country. and i'm going to vote for him again. host: thank you for your call, and thank you for all of your calls. the president wrapping up in florida. also, mitt romney and paul ryan will begin a heavy two weeks of campaigning starting in henderson, nevada today. they will then go to denver for a rally, back to nevada, on to iowa, and then east to ohio for three overnights in a row. we would also like to know what you think are the highs and lows of the debate.
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more than 50,000 people have responded so far. we would like to know what you think. go to our facebook page. go to facebook.com/cspan. this is the vice-presidential debate from boca raton, florida. 90 minutes. >> good evening from the campus of lynn university here in boca raton, florida. this is the fourth and last debate of the 2012 campaign, brought to you by the commission
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on presidential debates. this one is on foreign policy. i am bob schieffer. the audience has taken a vow of silence, no applause and no reaction of any kind except right now when we welcome president barack obama and governor mitt romney. [cheers and applause]
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i'll pose a question at the beginning of each segment. you will each have two minutes to respond, and then we will have a general discussion until we move to the next segment. the first segment is a challenge of the changing middle east and the new face of terrorism. i'm going to put this into two segments so you will have two topic questions within the one segment on this subject. the first question, and it concerns libya, the controversy over what happened there continues. four americans are dead, including an american ambassador.
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questions remain. what happened? what caused it? was it spontaneous? was it an intelligence failure? was it a policy failure? was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened? governor romney, you said this was an example of an american policy in the middle east that -- that is unraveling before our very eyes.
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governor romney, you won the toss. you go first. >> thank you, bob, and thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening. thank you to lynn university for welcoming us here, and mr. president, its good to be with you again. we were together at a humorous event a little earlier, and its nice to maybe be funny this time not on purpose. well see what happens. this is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world and to america in particular, which is to see a -- a complete change in the -- the structure and the -- the environment in the middle east. with the arab spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation and opportunity for greater participation on the part of women and -- and public life and in economic life in the middle east. but instead weve seen in nation after nation a number of
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disturbing events. of course, we see in syria 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military there. we see in -- in libya an attack apparently by -- well, i think we know now by terrorists of some kind against -- against our people there, four people dead. our hearts and minds go to them. mali has been taken over, the northern part of mali, by al-qaeda-type individuals. we have in -- in egypt a muslim brotherhood president. of course, the greatest threat of all is iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. and -- and were going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president has done. i congratulate him on -- on taking out osama bin laden and going after the leadership in al-qaeda. but we cant kill our way out of this mess. were -- were going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the -- the world of islam and -- and other parts of the world reject this radical violent extremism which is -- its really not on the run. its certainly not hiding. this is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to america long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism. >> mr. president. >> well, my first job as commander in chief, bob, is to keep the american people safe, and thats what weve done over the last four years. we ended the war in iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. and as a consequence, al-qaedas core leadership has been decimated. in addition, were now able to
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transition out of afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that afghans take responsibility for their own security, and that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats. now, with respect to libya, as i indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, i immediately made sure that, number one, we did everything we could to secure those americans who were still in harms way; number two, that we would investigate exactly what happened; and number three, most importantly, that we would go after those who killed americans, and we would bring them to justice, and thats exactly what were going to do. but i think its important to step back and think about what happened in libya. now, keep in mind that i and americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to -- without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in iraq -- liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who
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had killed americans. and as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of libyans after the events in benghazi marching and saying, americas our friend. we stand with them. now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of. and you know, governor romney, im glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after al-qaeda, but i have to tell you that, you know, your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the middle east. >> well, my strategys pretty straightforward, which is to go after the bad guys, to make sure we do our very best to interrupt them, to -- to kill them, to take them out of the
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picture. but my strategy is broader than -- than that. thats -- thats important, of course, but the key that were going to have to pursue is a -- is a pathway to -- to get the muslim world to be able to reject extremism on its own. we dont want another iraq. we dont want another afghanistan. thats not the right course for us. the right course for us is to make sure that we go after the -- the people who are leaders of these various anti-american groups and these -- these jihadists, but also help the muslim world. and how we do that? a group of arab scholars came together, organized by the u.n., to look at how we can help the -- the world reject these -- these terrorists. and the answer they came up was this. one, more economic development. we should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment and that of our friends -- we should coordinate it to make sure that we -- we push back and give them more economic development. number two, better education. number three, gender equality. number four, the rule of law. we have to help these nations create civil societies. but whats been happening over the last couple years as we
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watched this tumult in the middle east, this rising tide of chaos occur, you see al-qaeda rushing in, you see other jihadist groups rushing in. and -- and theyre throughout many nations of the middle east. its wonderful that libya seems to be making some progress, despite this terrible tragedy, but next door, of course, we have egypt. libyas 6 million population, egypt 80 million population. we want -- we want to make sure that were seeing progress throughout the middle east. with mali now having north mali taken over by al-qaeda, with syria having assad continuing to -- or to kill -- to murder his own people, this is a region in tumult. and of course iran on the path to a nuclear weapon. weve got real gaps in the region. >> well get to that, but lets give the president a chance. >> governor romney, im glad that you recognize that al-qaedas a threat because a few months ago when you were asked, whats the biggest geopolitical threat facing america, you said russia -- not al-qaeda, you said russia. and the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the cold wars been over for 20 years.
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but, governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s. you say that youre not interested in duplicating what happened in iraq, but just a few weeks ago you said you think we should have more troops in iraq right now. and the -- the challenge we have -- i know you havent been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time youve offered an opinion, youve been wrong. you said we should have gone into iraq despite the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction. you said that we should still have troops in iraq to this day. you indicated that we shouldnt be passing nuclear treaties with russia, despite the fact that 71 senators, democrats and republicans, voted for it. youve said that first we should not have a timeline in
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afghanistan then you said we should. now you say maybe or it depends, which means not only were you wrong but you were also confusing and sending mixed messages both to our troops and our allies. so what -- what we need to do with respect to the middle east is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. and unfortunately, thats the kind of opinions that youve offered throughout this campaign, and it is not a recipe for american strength or keeping america safe over the long term. >> im going to add a couple of minutes here to give you a chance to respond. >> well, of course i dont concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that ive said. they dont happen to be accurate. but -- but i can say this-- that were talking about the middle east and how to help the middle east reject the kind of terrorism were seeing and the rising tide of tumult and -- and confusion.
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and -- and attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about how were going to deal with the challenges that exist in the middle east and take advantage of the opportunity there and stem the tide of this violence. but ill respond to a couple of the things you mentioned. first of all, russia, i indicated, is a geopolitical foe, not -- >> number one -- >> excuse me. its a geopolitical foe. and i said in the same -- in the same paragraph, i said, and iran is the greatest national security threat we face. russia does continue to battle us in the u.n. time and time again. i have clear eyes on this. im not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to russia or mr. putin, and im certainly not going to say to him, ill give you more flexibility after the election. after the election hell get more backbone. number two, with regards to iraq, you and i agreed, i believe, that there should have been a status of forces agreement. did you -- >> thats not true. >> oh, you didnt -- you didnt want a status of forces agreement? >> no, but what i -- what i would not have done is left 10,000 troops in iraq that would tie us down. that certainly would not help us in the middle east.
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>> im sorry, you actually -- there was a -- >> here -- here is -- here is -- >> there was an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces agreement. and i concurred in that and said we should have some number of troops that stayed on. that was something i concurred with. >> governor -- >> that was your posture. that was my posture as well. i thought it should have been 5,000 troops. >> governor -- >> i thought it should have been more troops. but you -- >> this is just a few weeks ago. >> the answer was, we got no troop -- whatsoever. >> this is just a few weeks ago that you indicated that we should still have troops in iraq. >> no, i didnt. im sorry, thats -- >> you made a major speech. >> i indicated -- i indicated that you failed to put in place a status of forces agreement at the end of the conflict that -- >> governor -- >> governor, heres -- heres one thing -- heres one thing -- heres one thing ive learned as commander in chief. >> let him have -- >> youve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean. now, you just gave a speech a few weeks ago in which you said we should still have troops in iraq. that is not a recipe for making sure that we are taking advantage of the opportunities and meeting the challenges of the middle east. now, it is absolutely true that
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we cannot just beat these challenges militarily, and so what ive done throughout my presidency and will continue to do, is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts; number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in israels security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region. number three, we do have to make sure that were protecting religious minorities and women because these countries cant develop unless all the population -- not just half of it -- is developing. number four, we do have to develop their economic -- their economic capabilities. but number five, the other thing that we have to do is recognize that we cant continue to do nation building in these regions. part of american leadership is making sure that were doing nation building here at home. that will help us maintain the kind of american leadership that we need. >> let me interject the second topic question in this segment about the middle east and so on, and that is, you both mentioned -- alluded to this, and that is syria. the war in syria has now spilled over into lebanon.
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we have, what, more than a hundred people that were killed there in a bomb. there were demonstrations there, eight people dead. mr. president, its been more than a year since you saw -- you told assad he had to go. since then 30,000 syrians have died. weve had 300,000 refugees. the war goes on. hes still there. should we reassess our policy and see if we can find a better way to influence events there, or is that even possible? and its you -- you go first, sir. >> what weve done is organize the international community, saying assad has to go. weve mobilized sanctions against that government. we have made sure that they are isolated. we have provided humanitarian assistance, and we are helping the opposition organize, and were particularly interested in making sure that were mobilizing the moderate forces inside of syria. but ultimately, syrians are going to have to determine their own future. and so everything were doing, were doing in consultation with our partners in the region, including israel, which
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obviously has a huge interest in seeing what happens in syria, coordinating with turkey and other countries in the region that have a great interest in this. now, this -- what were seeing taking place in syria is heartbreaking, and thats why we are going to do everything we can to make sure that we are helping the opposition. but we also have to recognize that, you know, for us to get more entangled militarily in syria is a serious step. and we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping, that were not putting arms in the hands of folks who eventually could turn them against us or our allies in the region. and i am confident that assads days are numbered. but what we cant do is to simply suggest that, as governor romney at times has suggested, that giving heavy weapons, for example, to the syrian opposition is a simple proposition that would lead us to be safer over the long term.
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>> governor. >> well, lets step back and talk about whats happening in syria and how important it is. first of all, 30,000 people being killed by their government is a humanitarian disaster. secondly, syrias an opportunity for us because syria plays an important role in the middle east, particularly right now. syria is irans only ally in the arab world. its their route to the sea. its the route for them to arm hezbollah in lebanon, which threatens, of course, our ally israel. and so seeing syria remove assad is a very high priority for us. number two, seeing a -- a replacement government being responsible people is critical for us. and finally, we dont want to have military involvement there. we dont want to get drawn into a military conflict. and so the right course for us is working through our partners and with our own resources to identify responsible parties within syria, organize them, bring them together in a -- in a form of -- of -- if not
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government, a form of -- of council that can take the lead in syria, and then make sure they have the arms necessary to defend themselves. we do need to make sure that they dont have arms that get into the -- the wrong hands. those arms could be used to hurt us down the road. we need to make sure as well that we coordinate this effort with our allies and particularly with -- with -- with israel. but the saudis and the qatari and -- and -- and the turks are all very concerned about this. theyre willing to work with us. we need to have a very effective leadership effort in syria, making sure that the -- the -- the insurgents there are armed and that the insurgents that become armed are people who will be the responsible parties. recognize i believe that assad must go. i believe he will go. but i believe we want to make sure that we have the relationships of friendship with the people that take his place such that in the years to come we see syria as a -- as a friend and syria as a responsible party in the middle east. this -- this is a critical opportunity for america. and what im afraid of is that weve watched over the past year or so first the president
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saying, well, well let the u.n. deal with it, and assad -- excuse me, kofi annan came in and -- and said, were going to try -- have a cease-fire. that didnt work. then it looked to the russians and said, see if you can do something. we should be playing the leadership role there, not on the ground with military -- >> all right. >> -- by the leadership role. >> we are -- we playing the leadership role. we organized the friends of syria. we are mobilizing humanitarian support and support for the opposition. and we are making sure that that those we help are those who will be friends of ours in the long term and friends of our allies in the region over the long term. but you know, going back to libya, because this is an example of -- of how we make choices, you know, when we went into libya and we were able to immediately stop the massacre there because of the unique circumstances and the coalition that we had helped to organize, we also had to make sure that moammar gadhafi didnt stay there. and to the governors credit, you supported us going into libya and the coalition that we organized. but when it came time to making
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sure that gadhafi did not stay in power, that he was captured, governor, your suggestion was that this was mission creep, that this was mission muddle. imagine if we had pulled out at that point. that -- moammar gadhafi had more american blood on his hands than any individual other than osama bin laden. and so we were going to make sure that we finished the job. thats part of the reason why the libyans stand with us. but we did so in a careful, thoughtful way, making certain that we knew who we were dealing with, that those forces of moderation on the ground were ones that we could work with. and we have to take the same kind of steady, thoughtful leadership when it comes to syria. thats exactly what were doing. >> governor, can i just ask you, would you go beyond what the administration would do? like, for example, would you put in no-fly zones over syria? >> i dont -- i dont want to have our military involved in --
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in syria. i dont think theres a necessity to put our military in syria at -- at this stage. i dont anticipate that in the future. as i indicated, our objectives are to replace assad and to have in place a new government which is friendly to us -- a responsible government, if possible. and i want to make sure the get armed and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves but also to remove -- to remove assad. but i do not want to see a military involvement on the part of -- of our -- of our troops. and this isnt -- this isnt going to be necessary. we have -- with our partners in the region, we have sufficient resources to support those groups. but look, this has been going on for a year. this is a time -- this should have been a time for american leadership. we should have taken a leading role -- not militarily, but a leading role organizationally, governmentally, to bring together the parties there to find responsible parties. as you hear from intelligence sources even today, the insurgents are highly disparate. they havent come together. they havent formed a unity group, a council of some kind. that needs to happen.
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america can help that happen. and we need to make sure they have the arms they need to carry out the very important role, which is getting rid of assad. >> could we get a quick response, mr. president, because i want to ask -- >> well, ill -- ill -- ill be -- ill be very quick. what you just heard governor romney said is he doesnt have different ideas, and thats because were doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a moderate, syrian leadership and a -- an effective transition so that we get assad out. thats the kind of leadership weve shown. thats the kind of leadership well continue to show. >> may i ask you, you know, during the egyptian turmoil, there came a point when you said it was time for president mubarak to go. >> right. >> some in your administration thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. do you have any regrets about that? >> no, i dont because i think that america has to stand with democracy. the notion that we would have tanks run over those young people who were in tahrir square, that is not the kind of
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american leadership that john f. kennedy talked about 50 years ago. but what ive also said is that now that you have a democratically elected government in egypt, that they have to make sure that they take responsibility for protecting religious minorities -- and we have put significant pressure on them to make sure theyre doing that -- to recognize the rights of women, which is critical throughout the region. these countries cant develop if young women are not given the kind of education that they need. they have to abide by their treaty with israel. that is a red line for us, because not only is israels security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels. they have to make sure that
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theyre cooperating with us when it comes to counterterrorism. and we will help them with respect to developing their own seconomy, because ultimately, whats going to make the egyptian revolution successful for the people of egypt but also for the world is if those young people who gathered there are seeing opportunities. their aspirations are similar to young peoples here. they want jobs. they want to be able to make sure their kids are going to a good school. they want to make sure that they have a roof over their heads and that they have a -- the prospects of a better life in the future. and so one of the things that weve been doing is -- is, for example, organizing entrepreneurship conferences with these egyptians to -- to give them a sense of how they can start rebuilding their economy in a way thats noncorrupt, thats transparent. but what is also important for us to understand is -- is that for america to be successful in this region, there are some
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things that were going to have to do here at home as well. you know, one of the challenges over the last decade is weve done experiments in nation building in places like iraq and afghanistan. and weve neglected, for example, developing our own economy, our own energy sectors, our own education system. and its very hard for us to project leadership around the world when were not doing what we need to do here. >> governor romney, i want to hear your response to that, but i would just ask you, would you have stuck with mubarak? >> no, i believe, as the president indicated and said at the time, that i supported his -- his action there. i felt that -- i wish wed have had a better vision of the future. i wish that, looking back at the beginning of the presidents term and even further back than that, that wed have recognized that there was a growing energy and passion for freedom in that part of the world and that we would have worked more aggressively with our -- our friend and with other friends in the region to have them make the transition towards a more representative form of government such that it didnt explode in the way it did. but once it exploded, i felt the same as the president did, which is these -- these freedom voices in the -- the streets of egypt where the people who were speaking of our principles and the -- the -- president mubarak had done things which were unimaginable, and the idea of him crushing his people was not something that we could possibly support. let me -- let me step back and talk about what i think our
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mission has to be in the middle east, and even more broadly, because our purpose is to make sure the world is more -- is peaceful. we want a peaceful planet. we want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know theyre going to have a bright and prosperous future and not be at war. thats our purpose. and the mantle of -- of leadership for promoting the principles of peace has fallen to america. we didnt ask for it, but its an honor that we have it. but for us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong, and that begins with a strong economy here at home, and unfortunately, the economy is not stronger. when the -- when the -- the president of iraq -- excuse me -- of iran, ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, thats a frightening thing. the former chief of -- chief of the joints chief of staff said that -- admiral mullen -- said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. this -- we have weakened our economy. we need a strong economy. we need to have as well a strong military. our military is second to none
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in the world. were blessed with terrific soldiers and extraordinary technology and intelligence. but the idea of a trillion dollars in cuts through sequestration and budget cuts to the military would change that. we need to have strong allies. our association and -- and connection with our allies is essential to americas strength. were the -- the great nation that has allies, 42 allies and friends around the world. and finally, we have to stand by our principles. and if were strong in each of those things, american influence will grow. but unfortunately, in nowhere in the world is americas influence greater today than it was four years ago. >> all right. >> and thats because weve become weaker on each of those four dimensions. >> all right -- perfect. youre going to get a chance to respond to that because thats a perfect segue into our next segment, and that is what is americas role in the world. and that is the question. what do each of you see as our role in the world? and i believe, governor romney, its your turn to go first. >> well, i -- i absolutely believe that america has a -- a responsibility and the privilege of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that -- that make the world more peaceful. and those principles include
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human rights, human dignity, free enterprise, freedom of expression, elections, because when there are elections, people tend to vote for peace. they dont vote for war. so we want to -- to promote those principles around the world. we recognize that there are places of conflict in the world. we want to end those conflicts to the extent humanly possible. but in order to be able to fulfill our role in the world, america must be strong. america must lead. and for that to happen, we have to strengthen our economy here at home. you cant have 23 million people struggling to get a job. you -- you cant have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate. you cant have kids coming out of college, half of whom cant find a job today, or a job thats commensurate with their college degree. we have to get our economy going. and our military -- weve got to strengthen our military long- term. we dont know what the world is going to throw at us down the
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road. we -- we make decisions today in a military that -- that will confront challenges we cant imagine. in the 2000 debates there was no mention of terrorism, for instance. and a year later, 9/11 happened. so we have to make decisions based upon uncertainty. and that means a strong military. i will not cut our military budget. we have to also stand by our allies. i think the tension that existed between israel and the united states was very unfortunate. i think also that pulling our missile defense program out of poland in the way we was also unfortunate in terms of, if you will, disrupting the relationship in some ways that existed between us. and then of course, with regards to standing for our principles, when -- when the students took to the streets in tehran and the people there protested, the green revolution occurred. for the president to be silent i thought was an enormous mistake. we have to stand for our principles, stand for our allies, stand for a strong military and stand for a stronger economy. >> mr. president. >> america remains the one
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indispensable nation. and the world needs a strong america. and it is stronger now then when i came into office. because we ended the war in iraq, we were able to refocus our attention on not only the terrorist threat but also beginning a transition process in afghanistan. it also allowed us to refocus on alliances and relationships that had been neglected for a decade. and, governor romney, our alliances have never been stronger. in asia, in europe, in africa, with israel where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the iranian threat. but what we also have been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding america. and thats what my plan does-- making sure that were bringing manufacturing back to our shores
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so that were creating jobs here, as weve done with the auto industry, not rewarding companies that are shipping jobs overseas; making sure that weve got the best education system in the world, including retraining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow; doing everything we can to control our energy. weve cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades because weve developed oil and natural gas, but we also have to develop clean energy technologies that will allow us to cut our exports in half by 2020. thats the kind of leadership that we need to show. and weve got to make sure that we reduce our deficit. unfortunately, governor romneys plan doesnt do it. weve got to do it in a responsible way, by cutting out spending we dont need but also asking the wealthiest to pay a little bit more. that way we can invest in the
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research and technology thats always kept us at the cutting edge. now governor romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. you know, both at home and abroad, he has proposed wrong and reckless policies. hes praised george bush as good economic steward and dick cheney as somebody who shows great wisdom and judgment. and taking us back to those kinds of strategies that got us into this mess are not the way that we are going to maintain leadership in the 21st century. >> governor romney, wrong and reckless policies? >> ive got a policy for the future and agenda for the future. and when it comes to our economy here at home, i know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take- home pay. and what weve seen over the last four years is something i dont want to see over the next four years. the -- the president said by now wed be at 5. 4 percent unemployment. were 9 million jobs short of that. i will get america working again and see rising take- home pay again. and ill do it with five simple steps. number one, were going to have north american energy independence. were going to do it by taking
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full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables. number two, were going to increase our trade. trade grows about 12 percent per year. it doubles about every -- every five or -- or so years. we can do better than that, particularly in latin america. the opportunities for us in latin america we have just not taken advantage of fully. as a matter of fact, latin americas economy is almost as big as the economy of china. were all focused on china. latin america is a huge opportunity for us-- time zone, language opportunities. number three, were going to have to have training programs that work for our workers and schools that finally put the parents and the teachers and the kids first, and the teachers unions going to have to go behind. and then were going to have to get to a balanced budget. we cant expect entrepreneurs and businesses large and small to take their life savings or their companies money and invest in america if they think were headed to the road to greece. and thats where were going right now unless we finally get off this spending and borrowing binge. and ill get us on track to a balanced budget. and finally, number five, weve got to champion small business. small business is where -- where jobs come from. two-thirds of our jobs come from small businesses.
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new business formation is down to the lowest level in 30 years under this administration. i want to bring it back and get back good jobs and rising take-home pay. >> well, lets talk about what we need to compete. first of all, governor romney talks about small businesses, but governor, when you were in massachusetts, small businesses development ranked about 48, i think, out of 50 states, in massachusetts, because the policies that youre promoting actually dont help small businesses. and the way you define small businesses include folks at the very top. they include you and me. thats not the kind of small business promotion we need. but -- but lets take an example that we know is going to make a difference 21st century, and thats our education policy. we didnt have a lot of chance to talk about this in the last debate. you know, under my leadership, what weve done is reformed education, working with governors, 46 states. weve seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time, and theyre starting to finally make progress.
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and what i now want to do is to hire more teachers, especially in math and science, because we know that weve fallen behind when it comes to math and science. and those teachers can make a difference. now, governor romney, when you now, governor romney, when you were asked by teachers whether or not this would help the economy grow, you said, this isnt going to help the economy grow. when you were asked about reduced class sizes, you said class sizes dont make a difference. but i tell you, if you talk to teachers, they will tell you it does make a difference. and if weve got math teachers who are able to provide the kind of support that they need for our kids, thats whats going to determine whether or not the new businesses are created here. companies are going to locate here depending on whether weve got the most highly skilled workforce. and the kinds of budget proposals that youve put forward -- when we dont ask either you or me to pay a dime more in terms of ree ecing the deficit, but instead we slash support for education, thats undermining our long-term
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competitiveness. that is not good for americas pskition in the world. and the world notices. >> let me get back to foreign policy. >> well -- >> can i just get back -- >> well, i need to speak a moment if youll let me, bob -- >> ok. >> --> lust about educatiof r because im -- im so proud of the state that i had the chance to be governor of. we have, every two years, tests that look at how well our kids are doing. fourth graders and eighth graders are tested in english and math. while i was governor, i was proud that our fourth graders came out number one of all 50 states in english and then also in math, and our eighth graders number one in english and also in math -- first time one state had been number one in all four measures. how did we do that? well, refour blicans and demo deats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education that focused on having great teachers in the classroom. and that was -- >> ten years earlier -- >> that was -- that was what allowed us to become the number one state in the nation. and this is -- and we were --
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>> but that was 10 years before you took office. >> and we -- absolutely. >> gentlemen -- >> and then you cut education spending when you came into office. >> the first -- the first -- and we kept our schools number one in the nation. theyre still number one today. and the principles that weve four t in place -- we also gave kids not just a graduation exam that -- that determined whether they were up to the skills needed to -- to be able to wompete, but also, if they graduated in the top quarter of their class, they got a four-year tuition-free ride at any massachusetts public institution of hititer learning. >> that happened -- that happened before you came into office. >> governor -- >> that was actually mine, actually, mr. president. you got that fact wrong. >> let me -- i want to try to shift it, because we have heard some of this in the other debates. governor, you say you want a bigger military. you want a bigger navy. you dont want to cut defense spending. what i want to ask you, were talking about financial problefw in this country.
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where are you going to get the ö foney? >> well, lets -- lets come back and talk about the military, but all the way -- all the way through. first of all, im going through, from the veãbeginning, were going to cut about 5 percent of the discretionary budget excluding military. thats number one. all right? >> but can you do this withouqu driving us deeper into debt? >> the good news is, ill be happy to have you take a look. come on our website, youll look at how we get to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years. we do it by getting -- come ree ecing spending in a whole series of programs. come the way, number one i getd of is obamacare. there are a number of things that sound good but, frankly, we just cant afford them. and that one doesnt sound gocom, and its not affordable, so i get rid of that one from day one; to the extent humanly psksiblt s we get that out. we take program after program that we dont adeeolutely have to ⌞ bave and we get rid of them. number two, we take some programs that we are going to keep, like medicaid, which is a program for the poor. were -- take that health care program for the poor, and we give it to the states to run because states compn these programs more efficiently. as a governor, i thoutitt, please, e wave me this program. i can do that. i can run this more efficiently than the federal government. and states, come the way, are proving it. states like arizona, rhode island have taken these medicaid
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dollars, have shown they can run these programs more cosqu effectively. >> bob -- >> so i want to do those two things that gets us -- it gets our s to a balanced budget with eight in -- eight to 10 y >> . ss l-- >> but the military -- >> let -- >> lets go back to the milita^ though. >> well, thats what im trying to find out a. sut. >> lets talk about the military. >> you should have answered the first s look, governor romneys called for $5 trillion of tax cuts that ⌞ be says hes going to pay for y closing deductions. now, the math doesnt work but ⌞ be continues to claim that he going to do it. he then wants to spend another $2 trillion on military spending that our militarys not asking itor. now, keep in mind that our military spending has gone up every single year that ive been in office. we spend more on our military than the next ery countries combined -- china, russia, france, the united -- unite mo kingdom, you name it, ned the 10. and what i did was work with our ö soint chiefs of staff to think about what are we going to need in the future to make sure that we are sgrame? and thats the budget that weve put forward. omeut what you cant do is sd $2 trillion in additional military spending that the
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ö filitary is not asking foi w $5 trillion on tax cuts, you say that youre going to pay for it come closing loopholes and deductions without naming what those loo> boles and deductions are, and then somehow youre also going to deal with the deficit that wo ite already got. the math simply doesnt work. but when it comes to our military, what we have to think about is not, you know, just omeudgets, we got to think t capabilities. we need to be thinking a. sut wybersecurity. we need to be thinking about space. thats exactly what our bup>>et does, but its driven by strategy. its not scriven by politics. its not driven by members of congress and what they woub lake e to see. its driven by what are we going to need to keep the american people savin? thats exactly what our budget does. and it a tro then allows us to ree ece our deficit, which is a significant national securint. concern because weve got to make sure that our economy is strong at home so that we can project militaãpower overseas. >> bob, im pleased that ive balanced bre i was in the world of business for 25 years. if you didnt balance your budget, you went out of business. i went to the olympisec that wa out of balance, and we got it on balance and made a domccess there. i had the chance to be governor
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of a state. four years in a ro l dgoverocrats and republicans came together to balance the budge fo we cut t foes 19 times, balance our budget. the president hasnt balanced a bup>>et yet. i expect to have the opportunity to do so myself. >> all ritit fo >> i -- im going to be able to balance the budget. lets talk about militaã spending, and thats this. our navy -- >> a. sut 30 seconds. >> our nathe pr is older -- exce me -- our navy is smaller now than any time since and we17. the nathe pr said they needed 3 ships to carry out their ö fission. were now down to 285. were headed down to the -- to the low 200s if we go throutit with seqor rostration. thats unacceptable to me. i want to make domre that we hae the ships that are required by our navy. our wer force is ober and ^ whamaller than any time sincet was founded in 1947. wo ite changed for the fis since fdr. we -- since fdr we had the -- weve always had the strategy of
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saying we could fight in two conflicts at once. bow were chane wang to one conflict. look, this, in my view, is the ⌞ bighest responsibility of the president of the united states, which is to maintain the sgrame of the american pe byle. and i will not cut our military bup>>et by a trillion dollas which is the combination of the budget cuts that the president ⌞ bas as well as the ses cuts. that, in my view, is making our future less certain and less secure. i wont do it. >> . sb, i just need to commenqu on this. first of all, the sequestration is not something that i pr byosed. its something that congress has propose3 so it will not happen.
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the budget that were talking about is not reducing our ö filitary emending. its maintaining it. but i think governor romney mamate hasnt ement enoutit time looking at how our military works. you -- you mentioned the nathe , itor example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets -- omeecause the nature of our militarys changed. we have these things called weay raft carriers where planes land on them. we have these ships that go inanderwatei w nthingslear dombmarines. and so the question is not a game of battleship where were wounting ships. its -- its what are our wmy abilities. and so when i sit down with the secretary of the navy and the joint chiefs of stgramf, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that a tro keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans h to ce the kind of support that they need when they wome home. and that is not reflected in the kind of budget that youre putting forward, because itilitu dont work. >> all right. >> and you kno l wo ite visited the website qisste a bit. and it still doesnt work. >> a lot to cover. id like -- id lake e to move to the next segment -- red lines, israel and 30an. woub either of you -- and youll have two minutes, and president obama, you have the fis would either of you be willing to declare that an attack on israel is an attack on the
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united states, which of cous is the same promise that we give to our close allies like ö smy an? and if you made sthingsh a declaration, would not that deter iran? its ceme t wenly deteur ned the soviet union for a long, long time when we made that -- when we made that promise to our allies. mr. president. >> well, fis a true friend. it is our greatest ally in the r areion.
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long as im president of the united states, iran will not get a nuclear weapo ha ive made that clear when i came into office. we then organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against iran in history, and it is crippling the30 economy. their currency has dropped 80 percent. the30 oil proikction has plunged to the lowest level since they were fighting a war with 30aq 20 ä0eas so their economy is in a shambles. and the reason we did this is because a nuclear iran is a threat to our national security and its threat to israeed s national security. we cannot al, ord to h to ce a bthingslear as thats race in th volatile region of the world. irans a state sponsor of terrorism, and for them to be able to provide nuclear technology to nonstate actors -- thats unacceptable. and they have s wed that they want to see itheyy nel wiped ofe map. so the work that weve done with respect to sanctions now offes
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iran a choice. they can take the d alomatic route and end the30 nthingslear program or they will have to b and a united wor ^ whatates president, me, who sd were not going to take any bytions off the tabliran the disagreement i have with governor romney is that during the cous often talked as if we should take prlogature militaã action. i think that would be a mistake because when ive sent young men and women into has thats way, i always understand that that is theomnast rest, not the fis resorh 3 >> two minutes. >> well, first of albudge i -- want to undes same point the president made, which is that if im president of the united states, when im president of the united states, we will stand with itheyy nel. and -- and if israel is attacked, we h to ce their bavi not just d alomaticallve t not just culturally, but militarily.
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thats nualier one. bumber two, with regards to -- to iran and the threat of iran, theres no s nuclear iran, a nuclear-capable 30an, isponna mineptable to america. it presents a threat not only to our friends, but w timatedent a threat to us to have iran have nuclear material, nuclear wemy ons that coub be used agninst us or used to be threatening to us. its also essential for us to undes in iran, and that is to disdomae iran from h to cing a nuclear weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means. and cr apling sanctions are something id called for five years s ino when i was in israe ^ whapeaking at the herzliya conference. i laid out so iten ste, wha. it p apling sanctions were nis one. and they do work. youre seeing it rir-t nolesin the economy. its absolutely the right thing to do to h to ce it p apling ^ whaanctions. id have put them in place earlier, but its good that we h to ce thlog. number two, something i would add today is i wouve those sanctions. i would say that ships that caur ny 30anmbun oil cant come into our ports. i imagine the eu would agree with us as well. bt y only sh as cow dnt, id say companies that are moving their oil cant, pe byle who are trading in their oil cant. i would tighten those sanctions
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iturther. ^ whaecondlve t id take on diplc isolation efforts. id make sure that ahmadinejad is indicted under the genocide convention. his wos. incitation. i would indict him for it. i wouve their s gplomats are treated lie the pariah they are around the worve the apartheid diplomats of south africa. we need to increase presdomre time and time again on iran because anything other than a -- a -- a soin ition to this which says -- which stops this nuclear itoldent of theis to america. and of course, a military action is the last resorh 3 it is something one would only, only consider if all of the t yher to cenues had been -- h been tried to their full extent. >>omnoun me ask nocth of you, te -- as you know, there are reports that iran and the united ^ whatates, as paber t of an international group, have agreed in prinyiple to talks anocut
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30ans nuclear program. what is the deal if there are domch talin it? what is the deal that you would accept? mr. presidenh 3 > woulwell, fis were reports in the newspaper. they are not trpi . omeut our goal is to get iro recognize it needs to give up its nuclear program and abide i the u.n. resolutions that have been in place, because thnucl he the opporo community of nations, and we wouve there are -- there are people in iran who have the same a re30ations as pe byle all arod the world, for a better life. and we h bye that the30 leades decision. but the deal weed l accept is, thnucl end the30 n the rlear program. its very straightforward. and youapno act im glad that governor romney agrees with the steps that were taking. youapno act there h to ce been , governor, frankly, during the course of this campaige wo where it sounded like you thought that youd do the some things we s ggs omeut youd say thlogomnoude somehow that that would make a dif rrencr-t and it o that the wo involved in setting up these crippling ^ whaanctions is painstriaing; s
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mounicw ous. we started from the day we got into office. and the reason it was so important -- and this is a testament to holesweve restored american cres gbility and strength around the world -- is we had to make sure that all the countries participated, even countries like russmbu and chin, omeecberse if its n stponse imposing sanctions, weve had sanctions inbut lace for aomnon time. its because we got everybody to agree that 30an is seeing so on. the rh presdomre. and weve got to maintain that preugure. there is a deal to be hags and that is that they abide by the rw es that have alreaolv been establishedulthey convince the international community they are bt ybut urdoming a nuclear prd there are inspections that are very intrusivins but hoser timr-t what thnucl ca is regain credibility. in the meantime, thour-, were bt y going to let + b the pressure until we have clear evidence that that triaesbut lace.
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and oneomnast thing. im -- just to make this point-- the clock is ti-- aing. were nt y going to allow iran to perpetually engage in negotiations that lead bits bhere. and ive been very clear to thlog, yoprwpartits b, because e inteed ligence coordination that we do with a range of countries, incin is gng itheyed frbudge we sense of when they would get breakout capayie po, which means that we wouve intervene in time to stop their nuclear prd to ram, and that cl is ticking. >> all right. >> and were going to mriae domr that if thnucl do not meet the demands of the international comber t nie po, then we are go take all options necessary to make sure they dont have a nuclear wesingon. >> governor. >> i think from the very omeeginning, one of the chas wo ite had with iran is that thy have looked at this administration and -- and rlt that the administration was not as strong as it needed to be. i think they saw weakness where they had expected to find american strength. and i say that because from the very beginning, the president,
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in his caoua wepap some four ye ago, said hed meet with all the worve fis hed -- hed sit down with in havez and -- andapim jong-il, with castro and with -- with president ahmadinejad of -- of iralis and -- and i think they looked and thought, well, thats an ounudomal honor to receive daom the president of the united states.
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nothing governor romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign, and every fact- checker and every reporter's looked at it.
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the governor has said this is not true. and when it comes to tightening sanctions, look, as i said before, we've put in the toughest, most crippling sanctions ever. and the fact is while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a chinese state oil company that was doing business with the iranian oil sector. so i'll let the american people decide, judge who's going to be more effective and more credible when it comes to imposing crippling sanctions. and with respect to our attitude about the iranian revolution, i was very clear about the murderous activities that had taken place, and that was contrary to international law and everything that civilized people stand for. and -- and so the strength that we have shown in iran is shown by the fact that we've been able to mobilize the world. when i came into office, the world was divided. iran was resurgent. iran is at its weakest point
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economically, strategically, militarily than since -- than in many years. >> we're four years closer to a nuclear iran. we're four years closer to a nuclear iran. and -- and we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they've -- they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges and get that much closer. that's number one. number two, mr. president, the reason i call it an apology tour is because you went to the middle east and you flew to -- to egypt and to saudi arabia and to -- to turkey and iraq. and -- and by way, you skipped israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations. and by the way, they noticed that you skipped israel. and then in those nations and on arabic tv you said that america had been dismissive and derisive. you said that on occasion america had dictated to other nations. mr. president, america has not
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dictated to other nations. we have freed other nations from dictators. >> bob, let me -- let me respond. you know, if we're going to talk about trips that we've taken, you know, when i was a candidate for office, first trip i took was to visit our troops. and when i went to israel as a candidate, i didn't take donors, i didn't attend fundraisers, i went to yad vashem, the -- the holocaust museum there, to remind myself the -- the nature of evil and why our bond with israel will be unbreakable. and then i went down to the border towns of sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from hamas. and i saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms, and i was reminded of -- of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an iron dome program to stop those
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missiles. so that's how i've used my travels when i travel to israel and when i travel to the region. and the central question at this point is going to be, who's going to be credible to all parties involved? and they can look at my track record -- whether it's iran sanctions, whether it's dealing with counterterrorism, whether it's supporting democracy, whether it's supporting women's rights, whether it's supporting religious minorities -- and they can say that the president of the united states and the united states of america has stood on the right side of history. and -- and that kind of credibility is precisely why we've been able to show leadership on a wide range of issues facing the world right now. >> what if -- what if the prime minister of israel called you on the phone and said-- our bombers are on the way.
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we're going to bomb iran. what do you say? >> bob, let's not go into hypotheticals of that nature. our relationship with israel, my relationship with the prime minister of israel is such that we would not get a call saying our bombers are on the way or their fighters are on the way. this is the kind of thing that would have been discussed and thoroughly evaluated well before that kind of action. >> so you're saying just what -- >> i'm -- that's -- that's -- >> ok. but let's see what -- >> yes, but let me -- let me -- let me come back -- let's come back -- let's come back and go back to what the president was speaking about, which is what's happening in the world and -- and -- and the president's statement that things are going so well. look, i -- i look at what's happening around the world and i see iran four years closer to a bomb. i see the middle east with a rising tide of violence, chaos, tumult. i see jihadists continuing to spread. whether they're rising or just about the same level hard to -- hard to precisely measure, but it's clear they're there. they're very, very strong. i see syria with 30,000 civilians dead, assad still in power. i see our trade deficit with
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china larger than it's -- growing larger every year as a matter of fact. i look around the world and i don't feel that -- you see north korea continuing to export their nuclear technology. russia's said they're not going to follow nunn-lugar anymore; they're -- away from their nuclear proliferation treaty that we had with them. i look around the world, i don't see our influence growing around the world. i see our influence receding, in part because of the failure of the president to deal with our economic challenges at home, in part because of our withdrawal from our commitment to our military and the way i think it ought to be, in part because of the -- the -- the turmoil with israel. i mean, the president received a letter from 38 democrat senators saying the tensions
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with israel were a real problem. >> no. >> they asked him, please repair the tension -- democrat senators -- please repair the damage in his -- in his own party. >> all right. >> governor, the problem is, is that on a whole range of issues, whether it's the middle east, whether it's afghanistan, whether it's iraq, whether it's now iran, you've been all over the map. i mean, i'm pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure and potentially having bilateral discussions with the iranians to end their nuclear program. but just a few years ago you said that's something you'd never do, in the same way that you initially opposed a time table in afghanistan, now you're for it, although it depends; in the same way that you say you would have ended the war in iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there; the same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after gadhafi. when it comes to going after
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osama bin laden, you said, well, any president would make that call. but when you were a candidate in 2008 -- as i was -- and i said, if i got bin laden in our sights, i would take that shot, you said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man, and you said we should ask pakistan for permission. and if we had asked pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten him. and it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him. you know, after we killed bin laden, i was at ground zero for a memorial and talked to a -- a -- a young woman who was 4 years old when 9/11 happened. and the last conversation she had with her father was him calling from the twin towers, saying, peyton, i love you, and i will always watch over you. and for the next decade she was haunted by that conversation. and she said to me, you know, by finally getting bin laden, that brought some closure to me. and when we do things like that, when we bring those who have harmed us to justice, that
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sends a message to the world, and it tells peyton that we did not forget her father. >> all right. >> and -- and i make that point because that's the kind of clarity of leadership -- and those decisions are not always popular. those decisions generally are not poll-tested. and even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did. but what the american people understand is, is that i look at what we need to get done to keep the american people safe and to move our interests forward, and i make those decisions. >> all right. let's go -- and that leads us -- this takes us right to the next segment, governor, america's longest war, afghanistan and pakistan. >> bob -- >> governor, you get to go first. >> you can't -- you can't -- well, ok, but you can't have the president just lay out a whole series of items without giving me a chance to respond. >> with respect, sir, you had laid out quite a program there. >> well, that's probably true. >> and we'll -- we'll give you -- >> we'll agree -- >> we'll catch you up.
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the united states is scheduled to turn over responsibility for security in afghanistan to the afghans. at that point we will withdraw our combat troops, leave a smaller force of americans, if i understand our policy, in afghanistan for training purposes. it seems to me the key question here is what do you do if the deadline arrives and it is obvious the afghans are unable to handle their security? do we still leave? and i believe governor romney, it -- you go first. >> well, we're going to be finished by 2014. and when i'm president, we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. the commanders and the generals there are on track to do so. we've seen progress over the past several years. the surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace. there are now a large number of afghan security forces, 350,000, that are -- are ready to step in to provide security.
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and -- and we're going to be able to make that transition by the end of -- of 2014. so our troops'll come home at that point. i -- i can tell you, at the same time, that -- that we will make sure that we -- we look at what's happening in pakistan and recognize that what's happening in pakistan is going to have a major impact on the success in afghanistan. and -- and i say that because i know a lot of people just feel like we should just brush our hands and walk away. and i don't mean you, mr. president, but some people in the -- in our nation feel that pakistan -- being nice to us and that we should just walk away from them. but pakistan is important to the region, to the world and to us, because pakistan has 100 nuclear warheads, and they're rushing to build a lot more. they'll have more than great britain sometime in the -- in the relatively near future. they also have the haqqani network and -- and the taliban existent within their country. and so a -- a pakistan that falls apart, becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger to afghanistan and us. and so we're going to have to remain helpful in encouraging
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pakistan to move towards a -- a more stable government and -- and rebuild a relationship with us. and that means that -- that -- that our aid that we provide to pakistan is going to have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met. so for me, i look at this as both a -- a -- a need to help move pakistan in the right direction and also to get afghanistan to be ready. and they will be ready by the end of 2014. >> mr. president. >> you know, when i came into office, we were still bogged down in iraq, and afghanistan had been drifting for a decade. we ended the war in iraq, refocused our attention on afghanistan. and we did deliver a surge of troops. that was facilitated in part because we had ended the war in iraq. and we are now in a position where we have met many of the objectives that got us there in the first place. part of what had happened is
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we'd forgotten why we'd gone. we went because there were people who were responsible for 3,000 american deaths. and so we decimated al-qaeda's core leadership in the border regions between afghanistan and pakistan. we then started to build up afghan forces. and we're now in a position where we can transition out, because there's no reason why americans should die when afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country. now, that transition's -- has to take place in a responsible fashion. we've been there a long time, and we've got to make sure that we and our coalition partners are pulling out responsibly and giving afghans the capabilities that they need. but what i think the american people recognize is after a decade of war, it's time to do some nation-building here at home. and what we can now do is free up some resources to, for example, put americans back to work, especially our veterans, rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools, making sure that, you know, our
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veterans are getting the care that they need when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, making sure that the certifications that they need for good jobs of the future are in place. you know, i was having lunch with some -- a veteran in minnesota who had been a medic dealing with the most extreme circumstances. when he came home and he wanted to become a nurse, he had to start from scratch. and what we've said is, let's change those certifications. the first lady has done great work with an organization called joining forces putting our veterans back to work. and as a consequence, veterans' unemployment is actually now lower than general population, it was higher when i came into office. so those are the kinds of things that we can now do because we're making that transition in afghanistan. >> all right. let me go to governor romney because you talked about pakistan and what needs to be done there. general allen, our commander in
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afghanistan, says that americans continue to die at the hands of groups who are supported by pakistan. we know that pakistan has arrested the doctor who helped us catch obama's -- bin laden. it still provides safe haven for terrorists, yet we continue to give pakistan billions of dollars. is it time for us to divorce pakistan? >> no, it's not time to divorce a nation on earth that has a hundred nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point, a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation -- as i indicated before, the taliban, haqqani network. it's a nation that's not like -- like others and that does not have a civilian leadership that is calling the shots there. you've got the isi, their intelligence organization is probably the most powerful of the -- of the three branches there. then you have the military and then you have the -- the civilian government.
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this is a nation which if it falls apart -- if it becomes a failed state, there are nuclear weapons there and you've got -- you've got terrorists there who could grab their -- their hands onto those nuclear weapons. this is -- this is an important part of the world for us. pakistan is -- is technically an ally, and they're not acting very much like an ally right now, but we have some work to do. and i -- i don't blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with pakistan is strained. we had to go into pakistan; we had to go in there to get osama bin laden. that was the right thing to do. and that upset them, but there was obviously a great deal of anger even before that. but we're going to have to work with the -- with the people in pakistan to try and help them move to a more responsible course than the one that they're on. and it's important for them, it's important for the nuclear weapons, it's important for the success of afghanistan, because inside pakistan you have a large group of pashtuns that are -- that are taliban, that they're going to come rushing
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back into afghanistan when we go. and that's one of the reasons the afghan security forces have so much work to do to be able to fight against that. but it's important for us to recognize that we can't just walk away from pakistan. but we do need to make sure that as we -- as we send support for them, that this is tied to them making progress on -- on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society. >> let me ask you, governor, because we know president obama's position on this, what is -- what is your position on the use of drones? >> well, i believe that we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. and it's widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes, and i support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends. let me also note that, as i said earlier, we're going to have to do more than just going
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after leaders and -- and killing bad guys, important as that is. we're also going to have to have a far more effective and comprehensive strategy to help move the world away from terror and islamic extremism. we haven't done that yet. we talk a lot about these things, but you look at the -- the record. you look at the record of the last four years and say, is iran closer to a bomb? yes. is the middle east in tumult? yes. is -- is al-qaeda on the run, on its heels? no. is -- are israel and the palestinians closer to -- to reaching a peace agreement? no, they haven't had talks in two years. we have not seen the progress we need to have, and i'm convinced that with strong leadership and an effort to build a strategy based upon helping these nations reject extremism, we can see the kind of peace and prosperity the world demands. >> well, keep in mind our strategy wasn't just going after bin laden. we've created partnerships throughout the region to deal with extremism -- in somalia,
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in yemen, in pakistan. and what we've also done is engage these governments in the kind of reforms that are actually going to make a difference in people's lives day to day, to make sure that their government aren't corrupt, to make sure that they are treating women with the kind of respect and dignity that every nation that succeeds has shown, and to make sure that they've got a free market system that works. so across the board, we are engaging them in building capacity in these countries and we have stood on the side of democracy. one thing i think americans should be proud of -- when tunisians began to protest, this nation, me, my administration stood with them earlier than just about any other country. in egypt we stood on the side of democracy. in libya we stood on the side of the people. and as a consequence there is no doubt that attitudes about
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americans have changed. but there are always going to be elements in these countries that potentially threaten the united states. and we want to shrink those groups and those networks, and we can do that, but we're always also going to have to maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activities. the truth, though, is that al- qaeda is much weaker than it was when i came into office, and they don't have the same capacities to attack the u.s. homeland and our allies as they did four years ago. >> let's go to the next segment because it's a very important one. it is the rise of china and future challenges for america. i want to just begin this by asking both of you -- and mr. president, you go first this time -- what do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this
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country? >> well, i think it will continue to be terrorist networks. we have to remain vigilant, as i just said. but with respect to china, china's both an adversary but also a potential partner in the international community if it's following the rules. so my attitude coming into office was that we are going to insist that china plays by the same rules as everybody else. and i know americans had -- had seen jobs being shipped overseas, businesses and workers not getting a level playing field when it came to trade. and that's the reason why i set up a trade task force to go after cheaters when it came to international trade. that's the reason why we have brought more cases against china for violating trade rules than the other -- the previous administration had done in two terms. and we've won just about every case that we've filed, that -- that has been decided. in fact, just recently,
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steelworkers in ohio and throughout the midwest, pennsylvania, are in a position now to sell steel to china because we won that case. we had a tire case in which they were flooding us with cheap domestic tires -- or -- or -- or cheap chinese tires. and we put a stop to it and, as a consequence, saved jobs throughout america. i have to say that governor romney criticized me for being too tough in that tire case, said this wouldn't be good for american workers and that it would be protectionist. but i tell you, those workers don't feel that way. they feel as if they had finally an administration who was going to take this issue seriously. over the long term, in order for us to compete with china, we've also got to make sure, though, that we're taking -- taking care of business here at home. if we don't have the best education system in the world, if we don't continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to -- to create great businesses here in the united states, that's how we lose the
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competition. and unfortunately, governor romney's budget and his proposals would not allow us to make those investments. >> all right. governor. >> well, first of all, it's not government that makes business successful. it's not government investments that make businesses grow and hire people. let me also note that the greatest threat that the world faces, the greatest national security threat, is a nuclear iran. let's talk about china. china has an interest that's very much like ours in one respect, and that is they want a stable world. they don't want war. they don't want to see protectionism. they don't want to see the -- the world break out into -- into various forms of chaos, because they have to -- they have to manufacture goods and put people to work. and they have about 20,000 -- 20 million, rather, people coming out of the farms every year, coming into the cities, needing jobs. so they want the economy to work and the world to be free and open. and so we can be a partner with china. we don't have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form. we can work with them. we can collaborate with them if they're willing to be
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responsible. now, they look at us and say, is it a good idea to be with america? how strong are we going to be? how strong is our economy? they look at the fact that we owe them a trillion dollars and owe other people 16 trillion in total, including them. they -- they look at our -- our decision to -- to cut back on our military capabilities -- a trillion dollars. the secretary of defense called these trillion dollars of cuts to our military devastating. it's not my term. it's the president's own secretary of defense called them devastating. they look at america's commitments around the world and they see what's happening and they say, well, ok, is america going to be strong? and the answer is yes. if i'm president, america will be very strong. we'll also make sure that we have trade relations with china that work for us. i've watched year in and year out as companies have shut down and people have lost their jobs because china has not played by the same rules, in part by holding down artificially the value of their currency. it holds down the prices of their goods. it means our goods aren't as
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competitive and we lose jobs. that's got to end. they're making some progress; they need to make more. that's why on day one i will label them a currency manipulator which allows us to apply tariffs where they're taking jobs. they're stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods. they have to understand, we want to trade with them, we want a world that's stable, we like free enterprise, but you got to play by the rules. >> well, governor, let me just ask you, if you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, some people are saying you're just going to start a trade war with china on day one. is that -- isn't there a risk that that could happen? >> well, they sell us about this much stuff every year. and we sell them about this much stuff every year. so it's pretty clear who doesn't want a trade war. and there's one going on right now that we don't know about. it's a silent one and they're winning.
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we have an enormous trade imbalance with china. and it's worse this year than last year. and it was worse last year than the year before. and -- and so we have to understand that we can't just surrender and -- and lose jobs year in and year out. we have to say to our friends in china, look, you guys are playing aggressively, we understand it, but -- but this can't keep on going. you can't keep on holding down the value of your currency, stealing our intellectual property, counterfeiting our products, selling them around the world, even into the united states. i was with one company that makes valves in -- in process industries. and they said, look, we were -- we were having some valves coming in that -- that were broken, and we had to repair them under warranty. and we looked them up, and -- and they had our serial number on them. and then we noticed that -- that there was more than one with that same serial number. they were counterfeit products being made overseas with the same serial number as a u.s. company, the same packaging. these were being sold into our market and around the world as if they were made by the u.s. competitor. this can't go on. i want a great relationship
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with china. china can be our partner. but -- but that doesn't mean they can just roll all over us and steal our jobs on an unfair basis. >> well, governor romney's right. you are familiar with jobs being shipped overseas, because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas. and, you know, that's your right. i mean, that's how our free market works. but i've made a different bet on american workers. you know, if we had taken your advice, governor romney, about our auto industry, we'd be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. if we take your advice with respect to how we change our tax codes so that companies that are in profits overseas don't pay u.s. taxes compared to companies here that are paying taxes, now, that's estimated to create 800,000 jobs. the problem is they won't be here; they'll be in places like china. and if we're not making investments in education and basic research, which is not something that the private sector is doing at a sufficient pace right now and has never
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done, then we will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology. now, with respect to what we've done with china already, u.s. exports have doubled, since i came into office, to china. and actually, currencies are at their most advantageous point for u.s. exporters since 1993. we absolutely have to make more progress, and that's why we're going to keep on pressing. and when it comes to our military and chinese security, part of the reason that we were able to pivot to the asia- pacific region after having ended the war in iraq and transitioning out of afghanistan, is precisely because this is going to be a massive growth area in the future. and we believe china can be a partner, but we're also sending a very clear signal that america is a pacific power, that we are going to have a presence there. we are working with countries in the region to make sure, for example, that ships can pass through, that commerce continues.
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and we're organizing trade relations with countries other than china so that china starts feeling more pressure about meeting basic international standards. that's the kind of leadership we've shown in the region. that's the kind of leadership that we'll continue to show. >> i just want to take one of those points. again, attacking me is not talking about an agenda for getting more trade and opening up more jobs in this country. but the president mentioned the auto industry and that somehow i would be in favor of jobs being elsewhere. nothing could be further from the truth. i'm a son of detroit. i was born in detroit. my dad was head of a car company. i like american cars. and i would do nothing to hurt the u.s. auto industry. my plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start
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writing checks. it was president bush that wrote the first checks. i disagree with that. i said they need -- these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they'd -- they'd built up. and fortunately the president picked -- >> governor romney, that's not what you said. >> fortunately, the president -- you can take -- you can take a look at the op-ed. >> governor, you did not -- >> you can take a look at the op-ed. >> you did not say that you would provide, governor, help. >> you know, i'm -- i'm still speaking. i said that we would provide guarantees and -- and that was what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, to come out of bankruptcy. under no circumstances would i do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet. and the idea that has been suggested that i would liquidate the industry -- of course not. of course not. >> let's check the record. >> that's the height of silliness. >> let's -- let's check the record. >> i have never said i would -- i would liquidate the industry. i want to keep the industry growing and thriving. >> governor, the people in detroit don't forget. >> and -- and that's i have the kind of commitment to make sure that our industries in this country can compete and be successful. we in this country can compete successfully with anyone in the world. and we're going to.
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we're going to have to have a president, however, that doesn't think that somehow the government investing in -- in car companies like tesla and -- and fisker, making electric battery cars -- this is not research, mr. president. these are the government investing in companies, investing in solyndra. this is a company. this isn't basic research. i -- i want to invest in research. research is great. providing funding to universities and think tanks -- great. but investing in companies? absolutely not. that's the wrong way to go. >> governor, the fact of the matter is -- >> i'm still speaking. >> well -- >> so i want to make sure that we make -- we make america more competitive -- >> yeah. >> -- and that we do those things that make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses to grow. but your investing in companies doesn't do that. in fact it makes it less likely for them to come here -- >> all right, governor -- >> -- because the private sector's not going to invest in a -- in a -- in a solar company if -- >> i'm happy -- i'm -- i'm -- i'm happy to respond -- >> if you're investing
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government money and someone else's. >> you've held the floor for a while. the -- look, i think anybody out there can check the record. governor romney, you keep on trying to, you know, airbrush history here. you were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the u.s. auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy. you said that they could get it in the private marketplace. that wasn't true. they would have gone through a -- >> you're wrong. you're wrong, mr. president. >> i -- no, i am not wrong. >> you're wrong. >> i am not wrong. and -- >> people can look it up. you're right. >> people will look it up. >> good. >> but more importantly, it is true that in order for us to be competitive, we're going to have to make some smart choices right now. cutting our education budget -- that's not a smart choice. that will not help us compete with china. cutting our investments in research and technology -- that's not a smart choice. that will not help us compete with china. bringing down our deficit by adding $7 trillion of tax cuts and military spending that our military's not asking for before we even get to the debt that we currently have -- that is not going to make us more
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competitive. those are the kinds of choices that the american people face right now. having a tax code that rewards companies that are shipping jobs overseas instead of companies that are investing here in the united states -- that will not make us more competitive. and -- and the one thing that i'm absolutely clear about is that after a decade in which we saw drift, jobs being shipped overseas, nobody championing american workers and american businesses, we've now begun to make some real progress. what we can't do is go back to the same policies that got us into such difficulty in the first place. and that's why we have to move forward and not go back. >> i couldn't agree more about going forward, but i certainly don't want to go back to the policies of the last four years. the policies of the last four years have seen incomes in america decline every year for middle-income families, now down $4,300 during your term, 23 million americans still struggling to find a good job. when you came into office, 32
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million people on food stamps -- today 47 million people on food stamps. when you came to office, just over $10 trillion in debt -- now $16 trillion in debt. it hasn't worked. you said by now we'd be at 5. 4 percent unemployment. we're 9 million jobs short of that. i've met some of those people. i've met them in appleton, wisconsin. i -- i met a young woman in -- in -- in philadelphia who's coming out of -- out of college, can't find work. i've been -- ann was with someone just the other day that was just weeping about not being able to get work. it's just a tragedy in a nation so prosperous as ours that these last four years have been so hard. and that -- and that's why it's so critical that we make america once again the most attractive place in the world to start businesses, to build jobs, to grow the economy. and that's not going to happen by -- by just hiring teachers. look, i -- i love to -- i love teachers, and i'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers, do that. i -- by the way, i don't like to have the federal government start pushing its way deeper and deeper into -- into our schools. let the states and localities
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do that. i was a governor. the federal government didn't hire our teachers. >> governor -- >> but i love teachers. but i want to get our private sector growing, and i know how to do it. >> i think we all love teachers. gentlemen, thank you so much for a very vigorous debate. we have come to the end. it is time for closing statements. i believe you're first, mr. president. >> well, thank you very much bob, governor romney, and to lynn university. you know, you've now heard three debates, months of campaigning and way too many tv commercials. and now you've got a choice. you know, over the last four years, we've made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits and the worst economic crisis since the great depression. and governor romney wants to take us back to those policies-- a foreign policy that's wrong and reckless; economic policies that won't create jobs, won't reduce our
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deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very top don't have to play by the same rules that you do. and i've got a different vision for america. i want to build on our strengths. and i put forward a plan to make sure that we're bringing manufacturing jobs back to our shores by rewarding companies and small businesses that are investing here not overseas. i want to make sure we've got the best education system in the world and we're retraining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. i want to control our own energy by developing oil and natural gas, but also the energy sources of the future. yes, i want to reduce our deficit by cutting spending that we don't need, but also by asking the wealthy to do a little bit more so that we can invest in things like research and technology that are the key to a 21st century economy. as commander in chief, i will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops and go after those who would do us harm. but after a decade of war, i
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think we all recognize we got to do some nation building here at home, rebuilding our roads, our bridges and especially caring for our veterans who've sacrificed so much for our freedom. you know, we've been through tough times, but we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together. and if i have the privilege of being your president for another four years, i promise you i will always listen to your voices, i will fight for your families and i will work every single day to make sure that america continues to be the greatest nation on earth. thank you. >> governor. >> thank you, bob, mr. president, folks at lynn university -- good to be with you. i'm optimistic about the future. i'm excited about our prospects as a nation. i want to see peace. i want to see growing peace in this country, it's our objective. we have an opportunity to have real leadership. america's going to have that
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kind of leadership and continue to promote principles of peace that'll make a world the safer place and make people in this country more confident that their future is secure. i also want to make sure that we get this economy going. and there are two very different paths the country can take. one is a path represented by the president, which, at the end of four years, would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt, heading towards greece. i'll get us on track to a balanced budget. the president's path will mean continuing declining in take- home pay. i want to make sure our take- home pay turns around and starts to grow. the president's path means 20 million people out of work struggling for a good job. i'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs. i'm going to make sure that we get people off of food stamps not by cutting the program but by getting them good jobs. america's going to come back. and for that to happen, we're going to have to have a president who can work across the aisle. i was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent democrat. i learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle. we've got to do that in washington.
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washington is broken. i know what it takes to get this country back. and we'll work with good democrats and good republicans to do that. this nation is the hope of the earth. we've been blessed by having a nation that's free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the greatest generation. they've held a torch for the world to see, the torch of freedom and hope and opportunity. now it's our turn to take that torch. i'm convinced we'll do it. we need strong leadership. i'd like to be that leader, with your support. i'll work with you. i'll lead you in an open and honest way. and i ask for your vote. i'd like to be the next president of the united states to support and help this great nation, and to make sure that we all together maintain america as the hope of the earth. thank you so much. >> gentlemen, thank you both so much. that brings an end to this year's debates. and we want to thank lynn university and its students for having us. as i always do at the end of these debates, i leave you with the words of my mom who said, go vote.
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it makes you feel big and strong. >> that's great. >> good night. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[applause] >> who won the debate? that is one of eric facebook questions. nearly 70,000 people have responded. right now obama is ahead you can post your comments on last night's debates. here is what some of the callers had to say. we asked viewers what they thought of the final debate. here is what they had to say. >> i was undecided until this debate. what i saw and obama was presidential. when i heard was oriole leadership. i appreciated the fact that he was straightforward, was candid about his own positions, and
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what i heard from romney was a parenrott. >> i think governor romney won hands down all these debates. i am proud of president barack obama. he is presidential, a statesman, and when romney is asked a question, he looks like a man that cannot take pressure. >> mr. romney seemed to me to be a little which washy. earlier in the debate, he made a statement about having a black band -- a back but. later he states that he wants to work with china, he wants to deal with pakistan. >> i want to say something about the moderators in these debates. i think they are one-sided, i think. i believe in governor romney and i hope people open their eyes and take notice of what is going
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on in our country. >> romney enter the questions. everybody keeps saying he kept tiptoeing around them, and he is not. he is straightforward. he is consistent as to where obama has not been consistent. laggedhought the debate kagge off the questions. it got away from the foreign policy, and they started talking about the domestic economy, and i was trying to tie that in into what the questions were, and i do not think either candidate stock -- they kept going back to the economy. >> i felt governor romney had done an excellent job today, very presidential, and the main point at the end of the comments, our family has felt we are not being protected as a nation, that our borders are
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open, and the issues discussed tonight on foreign policy i felt that romney is going to get my vote for shure. >> i thought romney was comfortable talking about the economy. i thought president obama was clear talking about foreign policy, and he did a better job of tying in foreign policy with our current economy. >> i was disappointed with the president. i was looking for him to lay out his strategy in foreign policy, and i found him to be the chevy carter of power generation. >> i am kind of thinking that obama won this, because i do not know, romney sounded more like obama and less like himself, backing down a little bit. >> president obama and romney both failed to say anything
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about small businesses. >> obama did very well today. out of all three presidential debates, this is by far his strongest showing. he was presidential, he was directed to the point, straight forward, and a circuit. he called out romney on some of his equivocations with such prowess and being so polite that it was admirable to watch our president defend his policies of the last four years. >> as we follow our candidate, watch and engage with c-span. as you know, the candidates have 14 days until the election. romney. -- romney and ryan are spending that time on the road, and henderson, nev., and on to iowa on wednesday, and then all
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hell on thursday and friday. obama campaign in florida. we had that for you this morning. this afternoon, vice president biden joins in dayton, ohio. we'll have live coverage at 3:00 eastern. while obama and romney have finished their debate, third- party candidates are just darling theirs. larry king will moderate tonight from chicago. gary johnson, jill stein, de, and rocky anderson. with a focus on the debates this month, c-span is asking students to send a message to the president. they will answer the question,
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what is the most important issue the president should consider in 2013? videon's studentcam competition is open to students grades 6 through 12. now the daughter of john edwards spoke at an event hosted by winthrop university in south carolina. saatchi is the president of the elizabeth edwards found -- she is the president of the elizabeth edwards foundation. this is an hour. >> welcome, everybody, to a west forum and a faculty member. first, please make sure your cell phones are off or on silent.
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also, students are welcome to use computers or a pen and paper to take notes. if you use a computer, do not get distracted by all the other things that your computer is capable of doing and stick to note-taking. today's discussion will include a question-and-answer period. you should have received a note card on your way. write any questions you have and hand them to one of the students standing in the aisle. we will sort through your questions and read them for our speaker. i remind you about the rules of etiquette for your questions. remember to stay on topic. as much as you may enjoy the edwards' favorite flavor of ice cream, it is not a topic, and it will not be read. if you need a card, raise your hand and someone will bring you one. to introduce an hour event, a
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conversation with cate edwards is a part of the speaker series by the john c. west forum on politics and policy related to the 2012 presidential election. it kicked off last year with five candidates speaking here at winthrop. the forum was founded in 2002 at the university of south carolina by former governor john west. it came to winthrop in 2008. the west forum seeks to provoke engagement among young people across the state of south carolina. governor west is about what these values throughout his career. he served as a state senator and lieutenant governor of south carolina before his election to the governorship. afterward, he served at the united states ambassador to saudi arabia and became a professor of middle eastern
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studies at the university of south carolina. he did much to promote the education engagement of young people across the state. i would like to recognize his daughter and son, as well as bill, who are here with the audience today. thank you. our speaker cate edwards also exemplifies the values of governor west. she has participated in two election campaigns for her father, john edwards. she has experienced civil engagement in multiple ways, a directorship of a foundation in her mother's honor, works to educate and empower low-income youth for education, and service opportunities. in her spare time, she
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graduated from honors from princeton, earning a political economics degree. she earned a law degree from harvard in 2009. she clerked for federal judge and worked at a washington firm specializing in civil rights cases. she is now a partner in a law firm and specializes in civil rights and labor law cases. in 2011, she got married. it is her engagement in political and civic life that made her an excellent candidate for speaker for the west for more series. she will talk for her experience to campaign and political engagement assault as creating a foundation. we look forward to hearing about her experiences in civic and political life. let's give a warm welcome to cate edwards.
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[applause] >> good morning. bear with me because i am still getting over a cold. i apologize. i want to say a thank you to katarina and winthrop. i am grateful for all of you here in the audience to share this conversation. i will be honest. i thought maybe too much about what it was i wanted to say. it was hard to think about what i might be able to add to the conversation you had been having over the last several months about the election cycle, politics, campaigning. i will be honest and say i am not completely certain about that, but i will give it a shot. in 2004 and 2008, i spent months traveling across the
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country visiting campuses like winthrop and talking to students about the election process and the issues that mattered the most. let me tell you nothing could have been more fulfilling for me. i will start by talking about that experience. you have heard of the bubble, which is the cocoon that surrounds candidates. in many ways the campaign trail is an odd and delusional place. i want to start with an example. in july of 2004, my dad had dropped out of the race and john kerry had clinched the nomination. i was 22, graduated from college a month before. i moved to new york, had an internship at a magazine, but like many recent graduates, i had no sense of what i wanted to do.
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i was still figuring things out. my second day in the city i woke up with a phone ringing at 7:30. my friend andrew said, congratulations. i had no idea what he was talking about. a few minutes later, i had another call from my roommate who was living in south korea, calling to offer me her congratulations. again, and finally a third call came in and it was my dad. he said he had just been chosen to run as senator john kerry's vice-presidential running mate and to get on an airplane and go to washington. i told him that was old news and he was the third person who had called at that point. the networks were already barking about it. that is when i knew my life and my family's life had changed.
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in what other universe does someone literally half way across the world tell you that your dad got a job before you know? i threw some clothes into a suitcase and headed to the airport. we embarked on an announcement tour, hitting key battleground states, holding a rally after rally. there is a lot about that life that is getting used to, but i picked one thing up quickly, which is how to smile and clap at the same time. at every stop there were massive crowds, cheering supporters, upbeat music, as my family entered and exited stages. from where i stood, it seemed impossible, that we would not win.
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looking back, i realize how. one moment stood out, which was in october, 2004, at this point i had postpone my internship and was campaigning full-time, so what i did was traveled colleges on my own, talking to small crowds, and your questions one on one, and sticking to the kerry-edwards message. my main goal was to convince students like you to get out there and get to the polls in november, and if they happen to vote for kerry-edwards, that was a bonus. much more reminiscent of the big crowds, music. my mom had a lot of town hall meetings that i held, but they
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were much better attended and she gave a much better stump speech. i was with my mom into 2004, and i saw a young girl in the front row. she was holding a big sign that said "cate is my hero." i want to tell you i was unbelievable that that little girl was making that sign. i knew enough that a campaign worker had made that sign and made her hold it. she held it up and waved it with enthusiasm, and every time i looked her way she wanted to make sure i saw it. i had this slight moment when i said i maybe i am her hero. that was fleeting.
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it made me realize something important about campaigning. not really about the cheering crowds, it is not really about the music, it is not really about shaking hands or doing interviews. why not it seems like it would be at this point, right? in every single crowd, every single one, there is that little girl or someone like her who is looking on, learning, and taking part in this great process we call american democracy. if you are onstage, you can either be her hero, or you can be her disappointment. make no mistake, this makes a difference, because that girl could grow up knowing the issues you could paint on during that rally were the promises that changed her world, or she can hear nothing but broken promises and turn away from politics. that sign is not just a clever
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campaign tip. it was an enormous responsibility. it is one that i carried going forward and not one that i take lightly. not a responsibility that a real politician should take lightly. looking back i think that responsibility, the responsibility of making honest promises to the people you are speaking to should be nothing less than the bedrock of our political process and elections. i want to talk about responsibility, because it is not just belong to politicians or their surrogates. it also belongs to every single person in this room. take a step back. let's take a step back because of what to define what i mean by responsibly. it means as individuals we frame our point of view and make decisions with other people in mind, not just ourselves. that is brought and vague, so as we know responsibilities can
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be a burden and a legend. each of us have a variety of responsibilities -- academic, social, familial, professional, personal. today i want to address our responsibility to our community, country, and world -- civic responsibility and social responsibility. many of you know about the psychological and sociological problem known as a bystander effect. it is that we as individuals feel a weakened sense of responsibility when we're surrounded by others. i will give you an example of an experiment. subjects were placed in one of three different rooms under three different conditions. in one room people were placed by themselves. in the second room people were placed with two other participants in the experiment. in the thirdup